Bamboo pen tablets, made by Wacom, offer computer users an experience comparable to holding a pen for drawing or writing. These tablets are used primarily for graphic design and other drawing purposes, but with the right software, you can also use the tablet for handwritten materials, such as reports. If you want your report to appear typed, rather than handwritten, you will need software to convert the handwriting to text. Handwriting recognition software is included with Windows 7 and Mac OS X operating systems, and in a limited version on Vista.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- Bamboo tablet with pen
- Computer running modern Windows or Mac software
Install your Bamboo tablet according to the instructions that came with the product. If you have already completed installing the drivers, simply plug the tablet into a USB port.
Click the "Start" bar in Windows 7 or Vista and type "Journal" into the search field.
Click on "Windows Journal" in Windows 7 or "Microsoft Journal for note-taking" in Vista.
Write a few test notes with your pen to get a feel for how it works.
Click the lasso tool and circle your handwritten notes to select them.
Click the handwriting-to-text icon. Your computer will convert the handwriting into text.
Read the text carefully and make corrections as needed. Unless you have very good handwriting, the text recognition software is likely to convert some characters incorrectly.
Launch the handwriting input panel in Windows 7 if you want to write your report directly in Microsoft Word or a similar program instead of Windows Journal. Locate this by searching for "handwriting" in the "Start" menu. You can enter handwritten notes into this panel, and then have them appear in Word. This is not available in all versions of Windows.
Install the Bamboo tablet software on your computer or plug in the tablet if the software is installed. Launch your "System preferences" under the Apple menu, and then click the icon labelled "Ink."
Follow the on-screen instructions in the dialogue box to set up your computer's handwriting recognition.
Launch the application into which you want to enter text, such as "Pages."
Click the "Ink" window's paper icon to launch the handwriting input window. Write your text, and then click "Send" to send the converted text into Pages.
Continue writing and sending to your application in small chunks as you create your report.
Tips and warnings
- If you find that the native software does not adequately convert your handwriting, look into third-party handwriting recognition software that is compatible with your hardware and operating system.
- Some versions of Windows allow you to teach the handwriting input panel to recognise your writing. Look for "pen" or "tablet" under the "Control Panel."
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